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Aborted – Maniacult

by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 02 November 2021, 2:08 AM

ABORTED is death metal/grind band who were originally based in Belgium but feature an international line up now. They have been around a long time, having formed in 1995. They have also been prolific; "Maniacult" is their eleventh full length album, in addition to numerous demo, EPs and split albums. After 2018's excellent "Terrorvision" where would ABORTED go next? Faster, heavier, and darker, of course.  This album probably won't convert haters into fans but for everyone else, "Maniacult" is a non stop ride that doesn't have time for anything other than being sick and twisted.

As a whole, I think this album is more like their older stuff than what their more modern sound has become in recent years.  Over their existence, they have flirted with a more “core” sound at times, to melodic groove, and even have used technical and blackened elements in their sound but “Maniacult” sees them returning to a more death grind mixture. This album continues the career long trend of ABORTED having not so serious lyrics (they talk about poop a lot, which for them, is oddly enduring) but deadly serious musicianship. Their frantic, punk infused energy of grind and the brutality of death metal has rarely been stronger than on "Maniacult." It may lack some of the depth and variation of "Terrorvision" but it makes up for it by focusing on tight consistency and being bat shit insane.

Despite their audio onslaught that almost never slows, ABORTED do have plenty of atmosphere. The open track, "Verderf," exemplifies this. When it first begins, it sounds like nothing more than a pointless ambient intro. But it soon develops into a miasma of wall to wall guitar, meaty drums and profane vocals. It is a strong beginning and one of the very few times the album isn't in "face ripping and body mulching" mode. Of course, the mood changes drastically with the next song which is the title track. And it is is grand. This is the most ABORTED sounding song I've heard in years. Whereas some bands might come off as a caricature of themselves, this song just further shows just how well ABORTED know themselves. There is much to be said about a band who truly embraces who they are and they do that better than anyone.

Although certainly still technical, the title track reveals the album injecting more brutal groove this time around and the music is all the better for it. Sven's vocals are still unstable, manic and eviscerating, the guy is pure machine.  I’ve always been impressed with all quickly he can grind out his vocals and he hasn’t lost a beat. "Impetus Odi," is backed by drums that don't sound any less than an invading force. The barrage only adds to the song's overall intensity. There are several moments of power where the entire band doubles down…..and the result is sweltering and nearly palpable. These moments are broken up by more mid paced and straightforward riffs, which I find to be well placed as is allows a change of dynamics without compromising an inch of their brutal nature.

The final track, "I Prediletti The Folly of the Gods," is simply one of the best songs in the band's career. Despite their overall sound being suited for shorter songs, I have always thought they are even better with longer compositions. At over five minutes in length (long for them),  the song details and explores the overall sound of the album. Clean tones rise on the horizon and peak just as a melodic section arrives. Machine gun riffs and drums blow it all way while Sven brings it hard.  When they flesh out their songs while keeping that death grind feel, ABORTED truly hit their mark.

Several different riffs form, play, break away and reform during the first couple of minutes. Everything slows down in the song's mid section before speeding up once again but it serves to introduce a short but effective solo. All in all, ABORTED is yet another, well, ABORTED album but there isn’t anything wrong with that.   With “Maniacult,” this well seasoned band proves that much more grotesques sounds to explore and they aren’t even close to being done.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Verderf
2. Maniacult
3. Impetus Odi
4. Portal to Vacuity
5. Dementophobia
6. A Vulgar Quagmire
7. Verbolgen
8. Ceremonial Ineptitude
9. Drag Me to Hell
10. Grotesque
11. I Prediletti: The Folly of the Gods
Sven de Caluwé - Vocals
Ken Bedene - Drums, Keyboards, Samples
Ian Jekelis - Guitars
Stefano Franceschini – Bass
Record Label: Century Media Records


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Edited 08 February 2023

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